The Girl with a Watering Can

Ewa Zadrzynska, Author, Arnold Skolnick, Illustrator Chameleon Books (MA) $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-915829-64-4
Stepping down from her frame, Renoir's Girl with a Watering Can wreaks havoc on various works of art in the National Gallery's collection. As she steals the hoop from Renoir's Girl with a Hoop and knocks over the fruit in Fantin-Latour's Still Life , among other mischievous acts, the paintings all inexplicably lose their color and are represented as black-and-white drawings--a device that makes the book's action seem static. Though laid out in picture book format, the large amount of text and small typeface may make reading a difficult task. The book's second half perks up as the Girl with a Watering Can repents, returning to all the paintings she's ruined and restoring the pieces. Their color then magically returns, and nicely executed full-color reproductions appear. Though it employs an engaging concept, this first book in a series is a rather negative way to introduce art appreciation. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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